Two weeks after President Barack Obama's groundbreaking speech in Cairo, several Christian leaders gave the president positive marks and expressed hope that it would open a new chapter of dialogue.
"I think it had a very positive effect. It opened new horizons for cooperation between Christians and Muslims, between political authorities, between East and West," said Father Rif'at Bader, who serves as a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Jordan.
"Bridges are being built between civilizations and between religions, and as Christians we pray that everything the politicians are saying will be realized very quickly," he told Catholic News Service June 22.
Father Bader spoke in Venice, where he and other church figures from the Middle East attended a conference on tradition in Christianity and Islam. Like others, he said Arab populations are now looking for Obama's words to be translated into action.
"Credibility will follow that -- realizing what he said in actions on the ground," he said.